University of Minnesota researchers have made a real breakthrough in thawing out tissue samples that have been frozen to the temperature of liquid nitrogen — almost 200 degrees below zero Celsius. The tissue samples had been “vitrified” with a cryo-preservation agent. At super-low temperatures, this transforms the tissues into a glass-like substance in which all biological activity stops.
The cryo-protectant fluid used by the UM researchers included nano-scale iron particles encased in a biologically neutral sheath. The frozen samples were heated very quickly — but evenly — by basically microwaving the tissue. They tissue heated so quickly that there was none of the cracking that so far has been a roadblock on the way to true large-scale cryo-preservation.
If this can be replicated in whole organs, it looks like whole-body cryonics may be about to really take off. Hello, Alcor!
Read more at New Atlas.